BBC To Move Its Swahili Radio & Online Production To Nairobi & Dar es Salaam

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BBC World Service is set to move its radio and online production of BBC Swahili service to East Africa, in move that symbolizes its commitment to a new level by bringing teams closer to audiences.

According to statement by BBC, the Director of BBC Global News, Peter Horrocks to confirm this shift. The firm also added,” The production of BBC Swahili’s morning programme, Amka na BBC, will relocate to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania while the afternoon flagship programme, Dira ya Dunia, moves to Kenya’s capital Nairobi. Online production of the website bbcswahili.com will be shared between the two cities.”

Horrocks will also host editors from Kenya’s leading media firms on its global radio programme, BBC Africa Debate to discuss how well international broadcasters are keeping pace with changing African audiences and African media. The programme will be recorded in Nairobi on Thursday 29 August.

Since 1957, BBC broadcasts to East Africa in Kiswahili have been relied on for objective, unbiased information about the developments on the content and region and taken local stories to the rest of the world. BBC opened its Nairobi bureau in 1998, becoming the first international broadcaster to establish a news production bureau in Africa.

In 2006, BBC World Service became the first international broadcaster to produce and present radio programmes from the continent when it relocated its Amka na BBC from London to Nairobi. Last year, The BBC launched TV news programmes dedicated to its African audiences – Focus On Africa and Dira ya Dunia, becoming the only international broadcaster with a daily TV programme in Kiswahili.

Horrocks in a statement said: “Every week, around 20 million people tune in to BBC Swahili radio. Amka na BBC and Dira ya Dunia are household names among millions of Kiswahili-speakers. Traffic to bbcswahili.com has grown more than threefold year on year – with majority of users coming to us via mobile phones. By relocating the BBC Swahili teams to East Africa, we will better meet the demands of these people who come to the BBC for the news and information they trust. We are confident that our audiences will be the winners of this change and investment in Africa.”

BBC said the recording of BBC Africa Debate expect to bring together a studio audience of around 100 people: writers, journalists and broadcasters, local and international media owners, social media activists, listeners and viewers, media students and others.

This edition of BBC Africa Debate will be recorded at Multimedia University in Nairobi from 10am and 12 noon local time on Thursday 29 August. It will be broadcast by BBC World Service at 19.00 GMT (22.00 EAT) on Friday 30 August, and repeated at 13.00 GMT (16.00 EAT) on Sunday 1 September. It can also be found online at bbc.com/africa.

The BBC Swahili debate on the same subject will be recorded at Multimedia University between 12.30 and 14.00 local time on the same day and will be broadcast as part of Dira ya Dunia at 15.30 GMT (18.30 EAT) on Friday 30 August.